Art Box to Open Crozet Shop

Raleigh and Ann Novak

The Art Box will open in time for the Crozet Arts and Crafts Festival in the downtown building on Three Notch’d Road that formerly was the home of the Green Olive Tree. Raleigh and Ann Novak of Pleasant View in Amherst County opened their main store in Lynchburg and later another in Ivy Square in Charlottesville. The stores sell art supplies, offer classes, and have a reputation for excellent framing services.

In their third location, a room at one end will be their framing workshop. The main room will be divided in two, with one half displaying aisles of goods and the other  serving as a gallery with an open center area where classes can meet.

Novak has renovated the space and refinished the concrete floor in a maple color. “It’s damp-mop cleanable so you can wipe up paint,” explained Ann Novak, a painter herself, who made a scale model of the store layout on graph paper.

Art supplies will feature Gamblin and Old Holland products. “Gamblin paint is a tremendous product,” said Ann. “It was selected by the National Gallery for its restoration work. It’s a handmade product.”

The store will also carry a student-grade line and offer kids’ art gifts, plus fine pens and papers and “a smattering of office supplies.”

“We’re really known for framing,” she said. “We’ve been at it since 1968.” They have framed many unusual things, such as rifles, she said.

The shop will host “first Friday” art events, she said. “They are so much fun. Generally what we do is have a demo for kids to look at that is family-oriented. We serve vanilla ice cream with our sauce on it. That’s our thing, ice cream.”

Classes will be limited to six students. “You want specialized attention from the teacher,” she explained. Origami and watercolor journaling are two classes she expects to offer soon.

Until the store opens, the Art Box truck, a mobile art shop with an impressive and various stock of the essentials in it, built by Raleigh and tall enough to stand in, will be parked and open in front.

“We’re thrilled to be coming to Crozet,” said Ann. “It’s got such a nice feel to it. My mother and I used to come here to fish. It’s like a blessing in my life. It’s so beautiful and the mountains are so intimate. We love it every time we come. Everybody is low-key and friendly, and there’s lots of good food here.”


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